Online watch sales values have grown at a faster rate than on the high street, allowing online to take a 16.2% share of the market Q1 2013, according to GfK analyst Leanne Whittaker who was speaking at the London Watch Show.
During her seminar at the London Watch Show yesterday, which investigated the impact of e-tail on the watch retail landscape, Whittaker revealed that the value of watch sales on the high street has grown, but by just 0.6% from £875 million to £923 million in May 2012 to April 2013, compared to the same period the year before. Meanwhile units decreased by 9.3%. However, on the internet, the value of sales increased by 23.5% from £73 million between May 2011 and April 2012 to £90 million in between May 2012 and May April 2013. The units sold also saw a growth of 8.8% online.
Consequently, internet value share was at 16.2% in Q1 2013.
Whittaker added that the number of watches sold online in 2012 was almost 1.4 million.
She said that overall over the past three years, both online and on the high street although, in general, the units of watch sales was declining, the value of sales is growing because of a rise in the average sales price. "Watches that cost over £5,000 are where most of the growth in the high street is coming from," said Whittaker. "Online, sub £100 watches record the largest number of sales online." However, Whittaker added that £250 to £500 price point watches are now taking nearly 15% of the value of online products."
Whittaker added that multiple jewellers have increased their share of sales through luxury goods but department stores and mail order house catalogues is the key growth channel.